Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

I Would Believe in God or Jesus if I Could Meet Them

October 6, 2017

 

Do you believe in electricity? As far as I know you can’t touch, taste or see it. Do you believe in gravity? You can’t touch, taste or see it. I’m not trying to be smart with you, but we do believe in things we can only see because of their effects. We see the effects of God in everything around us that was not made by humans.

But the main reason Christians believe in God is because of Jesus. In this case, there was a real, historic occasion where God did make himself visible to us in human form. We believe what we do about God, because Jesus revealed it to us. Jesus proved his credentials as God by all the miracles He worked, culminating in his rising from the dead, and 40 days later ascending to Heaven.

When the apostle Thomas refused to believe Jesus had risen from the dead, based on what the others told him, but required seeing for himself, Jesus answered: “Blessed are they who have not seen, yet have believed.”

You see, ultimately it is based on trust. We believe what many humans tell us. We believe the weather report, the time of sunrise and sunset, the time the bus will come, the bank statement, what the lab tests say, what the repairman says–especially if we get a second opinion, and so on. Can we believe the reports of the apostles, who had everything to lose and nothing to gain by what they said? Read the gospels again and see if this doesn’t look like a visitation from God. Read the Acts of the Apostles, and see if this didn’t look like men who really believed what they were preaching about Jesus.

Even after all Jesus did, and after the miracles even his apostles did, there were many who would not believe. Do you wonder why? Sometimes this particular type of unbelief says more about the person than it does about the reality of Jesus and God.

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I Need Stronger Faith

October 6, 2017

Faith is the gift of God. God will give you all the faith you need for the situation He has placed you into. But you need to nourish and use your faith. Just as God gives the farmer crops and allows them to grow, the farmer must tend them, keep the weeds out, water them, and ultimately harvest them. We can nurture our faith by staying close to Jesus. We can keep reading our bibles–especially the New Testament which is all about Jesus. We can keep talking to Jesus throughout the day, being aware of his presence with us and thankful for all he does. And we can spend time with our “Jesus family”. We need to spend time with other believers. It can be a small group, a bible study or a prayer group. Other believers help us learn, encourage and challenge us, help us and pray for us–and we do the same for them.

I Can’t Stop Worrying; I Don’t Have That Much Faith

August 24, 2017

You are right, in our human strength we don’t have much faith. But Jesus said if we had as much faith as a mustard seed (have you ever seen one? They are tiny!) you could move mountains with it. You see, you don’t have faith in your faith. You have faith in Jesus, and He is the most powerful person on Earth. He said “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me” (Matt 28:18) He can do everything. He is God, after all. And over and over in the bible it says “Nothing is too hard for God.”

So give the worries to Jesus and let him handle them. You can pray and ask Jesus whether there is anything He wants you to do or change. But other than that, let Him do the worrying for you. There is nothing to be gained by your worry. Jesus said “Who by your worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Luke 12:25) Worry is checking up on Jesus to see if He is working on your problem, and He doesn’t like it when we do that. It shows we don’t trust him. So when we are tempted to worry, we can just say “Thank you Jesus for taking care of my problems, is there anything you are telling me to do that I’m not hearing. If not, then I trust you.”

Being Honest with God

January 24, 2016

“O Lord, how long will you forget me?  Forever?  How long will you look the other way?  How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart every day?  How long will my enemy have the upper hand?  Psalm 13:1,2

David was expressing something like exasperation to God, and it was almost exasperation with God.  He had been suffering, being cornered by enemies who sought to destroy him, and he was not seeing any action on God’s part.  He had a certain daring.  He dared complain to God, and yet he felt safe enough to do so.  God could have destroyed him.  God had punished the complainers among his people in the past.  But God didn’t punish David.  God actually called David “a man after my own heart.”  What was the difference?

David wasn’t taking God for granted.  He didn’t lack faith in God.  In this same psalm David said “But I trust in your unfailing love.  I will rejoice because you have rescued me.” (Verse 5)  David was just tired, heartbroken, and longing for some reassurance from the Lord, some movement on his behalf that would give him some hope.  He wasn’t distrusting God, but just being honest with God.

Sometimes it feels wonderful to just unburden ourselves, talking about our problems with someone who will listen without condemnation.  God knows how we are made, and He doesn’t mind at all that we ventilate our emotions before Him.   He is pleased that we trust Him like that.  It is good for us to be honest about our feelings, not acting as though we have to play some holy pretend game before God.  It is good for us to unburden ourselves to the only one who can do anything to help us.  And it is good when we then tell God we are willing to do what He wants.  It is good when we tell Him we trust Him to work out our problems for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28)

Asking

January 20, 2016

“Ask, and you will be given what you ask for.  Seek, and you will find.  Knock, and the door will be opened.  For everyone who asks, receives.  Anyone who seeks, finds.  If only you will knock, the door will open.  If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread will he be given a stone instead?  If he asks for fish, will he be given a poisonour snake?  Of course not!  And if you hardhearted sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t  your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask him for them?”  Matthew 7:7-11

In this episode, Jesus taught that our Heavenly Father is like a very loving earthly parent, but even better.  First of all, He likes to be asked for what we need.  Unlike earthly parents, God already knows what we need.  What then would be the purpose of asking?  Asking indicates trust on our part–trust that we have been heard, and trust that we will be given a loving answer to our requests.  That trust is a type of praise that brings God glory (it reflects all His goodness, love and beauty).  Jesus taught that everyone who asks will receive an answer, and everyone who seeks answers will be given something.  Jesus said that if we knocked we would be answered.  God never has a busy signal.  We never get the runaround.  We never will find God absent when we knock.  We will get an answer.   The answer might not always be exactly what we asked.  Think about parents.  They don’t always give their child what it asks for, because many of a child’s choices are foolish.  But as parents, even less than perfect parents do acknowledge the child’s request and give something good.  If a baby asks for something it can choke on, the parent distracts it with something else they know it likes.  If a child asks for something foolish or dangerous, the parent gives something better.  Sometimes it is necessary to wait for an answer, because someone or something  isn’t ready for the answer yet.  God will never give anything that would hurt us no matter how much we think we want it.  There was a song once about thanking God for unanswered prayer.  According to the lyrics, the young man had prayed for a certain girl to become his wife, but years later upon seeing her again, and then looking at the wife he had, he was glad God hadn’t answered the original prayer.  His actual wife was a much better match for him for a lifetime.

What God Needs

November 8, 2015

“the Lord does not depend on weapons to fulfill His plans–He works without regard to human means!”  I Samuel 17:47

We all limit God.  We think certain conditions have to be there for God to answer a prayer.  We think we must have certain gifts before God can use us.  We think there has to be a certain amount of money for things to happen and we pray for the money.  We think we need the government for us to feel secure.  We think a lot of things have to be in place for God to make something happen.  But God needs—NOTHING!   God spoke and the universe was created out of—nothing!   God came as a man, Jesus, with a human body–and born of a virgin. Jesus healed the sick and raised the dead with–nothing.  Jesus fed 5000 people with a few bread rolls and a couple fish.  He fed 7000 later with the same kind of meager scraps.  And Jesus has always used the nobodys of this world to accomplish great things for Him.  In fact, He prefers it that way.  Proud people tend to get in the way.  The kings of the world are used–yes USED–without their knowledge, to accomplish God’s purposes.  God raises and fells rulers, nations and cultures.  God births and destroys as He sees fit–everything from stars to demonic spirits.  God needs no conditions, no set of circumstances, no materials, nothing.  Yet, He loves human beings.  He does not need us, but He wants us.  Humbling.  Amazing.  Tremendous, wonderful Love.

Reasons to Believe Jesus

October 23, 2015

There are at least 5 reasons to believe Jesus.  Here they are–in no particular order.

  1.  Scientifically.  Jesus talked about the Creation many times.  There is a creator.  If you have intricate design and purpose, you have a designer and a creator.  It is just not possible to get from amino acids to even the simplest cell.  To get to the simplest protein we know of, you have to have the right DNA combination.  The chances of getting that are 10×10 to the 77th power.  All the rest of the combinations won’t work.  That makes chance mutation, over and over, mathematically impossible, and this chance mutation is the basis for evolution.
  2. Historically.  The resurrection is one of the best testified events in history.  All history is based on the testimony of reliable witnesses.  The witnesses to the resurrection wouldn’t recant their testimony even under pain of death.  All but one of the apostles died for their witness.  Only John did not, and he was persecuted, imprisoned and exiled.  People will die for what they believe is the truth, they will not die for what they know is a lie. And the tomb was empty.  If there had been a body, somebody would have produced it.  As for the theory he really didn’t die–no one survived a Roman crucifixion.  Their job was to see their convicts died.
  3. Change in the apostles.  The changed lives of the apostles are a testimony that something happened.  They never portrayed themselves as heroes.  They all abandoned Jesus at his arrest.  Yet, after seeing the risen Jesus and receiving the Spirit, they became bold witnesses who traveled all over spreading the news of Jesus resurrection and his teaching.
  4. Prophetically.  Jesus fulfilled 317 prophecies about himself that were written in the old testament more than 400 years before his birth.  No one could do that on their own.  You can’t control how you will be born or die.
  5. Practically.  Look at the changed lives of people today, whose path has been turned around completely when they asked Jesus to come into their lives.  So many of them have experienced things they can’t explain and they will tell you they didn’t make it on their own.

This may not be enough reasons for everyone.  Nothing can be proved beyond the shadow of a doubt.  Thats why in a court of law, proof must be based on  the “beyond a reasonable doubt” premise or the “preponderance of the evidence” method, depending on how the applicable law is written.

“”God always gives enough light for those who believe and enough shadows for those who doubt.”  Pascal

God fights for Us

October 21, 2015

“The Lord says, ‘Don’t be afraid!  Don’t be paralyzed by this mighty army!  For the battle is not yours, but God’s!”

This was about the Jewish people, one of the times they were being attacked.  But promises such as these pertain to all God’s people, for God never changes and His Love toward all His people is eternal.  So for us the message is:  When you see great enemies, powerful foes, things too big and fearsome for you to fight on your own, the battle is the Lord’s.  Whenever God’s people are obeying Him and trying to do good, there will always be opposition.  Our enemy the devil is very real and very powerful, although at this time God has him on a short leash.  When we are frightened by the greatness and terribleness of the opposition, we need to remember, God is in control, and He will fight the battle for us.  We are to keep our eyes on Him, keep our faith and keep our courage.  God is the ultimate power, and there is no being in the universe that can prevail over Him.  As Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 “All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me.”  He’s got us covered.

In the Beginning

August 9, 2015

“In the beginning, God…” The bible opens with these four words, and they are infinitely appropriate. They separate the bible account from other beliefs or philosophies humans have followed. “In the beginning” assumes there was a beginning. Evolution doesn’t assume that. It assumes atoms were on earth, but it never explains where they came from. It assumes laws of chemistry, but can’t explain where they came from either. There is no beginning, but some things simply exist–i.e., atoms, molecules, laws of chemistry, energy etc. The word “God” assumes God existed at the beginning. Not all belief systems assume that, either. Some assume many gods, spirits, aliens, or simply nothing. These four simple words set up the framework for all that will follow.

“…God created…” This sets God as the creator of everything, from light, earth, heaven, Sun, moon and stars, earth and water, and all that is present on the earth, including all living things. Nothing happened by chance, nor did anything evolve. For those who feel they must try to work evolution into this, I would ask “why?” As a professor once said to me “Evolution doesn’t answer everything, but it is simply the best explanation we have if we can’t accept a creator. And Science can’t accept a creator because it is outside the realm of science, which must be able to see and measure what it studies.” Well, ok, but evolution can’t be seen, measured or replicated either. We can only conjecture what happened, and a lot remains to be answered there as well. It is a faith-based philosophy when it can’t answer the questions either of its own statistical impossibility or the problem of irreducibility. I heard another professor say “We believe all the questions about how evolution is possible will someday be answered when we have discovered more.” Thats faith.

There is a God

March 6, 2014

I have heard probably 90% of the philosophical arguments for and against the idea of God.  I believe God, but not because of any philosophical arguments.  I have thoroughly studied the accounts of Jesus and His followers.  I have studied these accounts for their historical accuracy and find they are equal to or more reliable that any other history from that era, or even more recent eras.  The accounts of Jesus life and that of His followers contain so many miraculous events that nothing can explain them except God was in these things.  I also look at some particularly majestic or beautiful place in nature, and I just know God made that.  Evolution just can’t explain the culmination of all the things that had to happen together.  It takes more blind faith to believe it all happened by chance than to accept that God made it.  Then there is answered prayer.  When I have called out to God, He has answered me.  The ways are unique and personal.  Things happen that cannot be explained.  Coincidences that have a personal mark, meaningful to me, just happen when I pray.  

I personally think that disbelief in God comes from wanting autonomy.  Unbelievers don’t want to admit they do not wish to be subject to anyone, not even God.  They want to be free to set their own standards of right and wrong based upon their own personal value system.  Of course, if one believes they are in charge of their lives, they have no hope of help or of life beyond this realm.  It is truly a high cost for autonomy.